So I have been visiting a model railroading club the last several weeks and it has been a lot of fun, you need to do 8 meetings, 2 of them business related before you can become a member to the club officially. Once a member you then start paying membership and you are required to donate 1 type of rolling stock in the correct period to the layout. At the hobby store a few weeks back I saw a beautiful Canadian Pacific box car in the right period with a neat pine logo and in a very sharp green paint job, this caught my attention because the 1950-60’s wasn’t a very colourful time period for North American railroading but it was just before Christmas and I wasn’t going to buy something for myself so I passed on the opportunity. I went to the hobby store again after Christmas however and the box car was still there so of course I picked it up.

Now another requirement is that the donation be fitted with Kadee couplers so that the uncoupling magnets installed on the layout work and there are no general issues with trains and their cars. Most couplers are Kadee compatible which means they’ll link up just fine but a lot of these couplers that come with rolling stock by default are mostly plastic and can have issues with the magnets so I decided since I had some official Kadee’s left that I would just install them.


So to get to the coupler box the trucks need to be removed and for sanity sake so you don’t damage any of the details you can also take off the shell. Once the trucks are off it is just a matter of unscrewing the small screw and the coupler box and coupler easily come out. Now once the coupler is removed you can install the the Kadee brass spring box and place the coupler on top. This can be tricky, it’s all tiny and loose in this manner so be careful. Then place the screw back in and tighten it to the base of the car, not all the way as that will stop movement, but enough to hold it in place straight and to allow you to flick the knuckle and have it spring back at you. Once installed I put the trucks and body back on and in under 10 minutes I’ve converted this car to Kadee.

Now you should make sure everything lines up with a coupler gauge, this makes sure your coupler is the right height and it has a lip that shows you if it hangs too low. In my case, it lined up just right but I had a diesel that needed some work in this regard.

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